It rained cats and dogs last Thursday evening but that did not keep boat and marina owners away from Lancaster county’s public hearings on next year’s budget and tax rates. About 50 boaters turned out to protest the county’s high personal property tax on boats while only one resident objected to a portion of the proposed budget increase that could result in up to a 5-cent increase in the real estate tax rate.
Lancaster County has the highest boat tax on the bay and it is bad for business all the way around said those in attendance. The county needs the revenue from the tax to upgrade equipment and services while those in the boating industry say the tax is drawing boat buyers and owners away from the county as well as the other revenue their presence brings to local business. The heated discussion continues on both sides, but in the end the budget with the tax passed 5–0 at the Thursday night meeting.